The Premier League’s club captains have collectively agreed to no longer take the knee before every match. While the captains are still reaffirming their commitment to fighting racism, the stance will now be scrapped after it started in support of Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
Teams will be taking to the field for the start of the new Premier League season this weekend and the captains of each team have met to discuss various topics — including taking the knee — and they decided that it will now only be used on specific occasions. The set games where players will take the knee are bouts at the FA Cup, EFL Cup finals, and the first and last game weeks of the season that take place during the No Room For Racism campaign. An official statement from the Premier League on behalf of all the club captains said:
“We have decided to select significant moments to take the knee during the season to highlight our unity against all forms of racism and in so doing we continue to show solidarity for a common cause. We remain resolutely committed to eradicating racial prejudice, and to bring about an inclusive society with respect and equal opportunities for all.”
While the majority of Premier League footballers have been in support of taking the knee before kick-off, players such as Crystal Palace forward Wilfred Zaha stopped kneeling in early 2021 after he previously said in a statement that taking the knee had become “a part of the pre-match routine,” and that players are still being abused.
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